Editor’s Note: The California Partners Project conducted a statewide listening tour with California mothers, parents, and caregivers to understand how they navigated the integration of technology and devices into most aspects of their children’s lives. These evolving toolkits and best practices are meant to meet parents where they are. Top Tips is the final toolkit.
Top Tips to Support Healthier Tech Habits
TIP 1: Schedule tech-free time in your calendar.
Planning and setting aside tech-free time will promote more mindful usage of digital devices and set a positive example for youth.
TIP 2: Remove devices from the bedroom at night.
This will help promote restorative sleep.
TIP 3: Help kids connect with nature.
Many parents shared the power of taking a walk, hiking, camping, and surfing to encourage their kids to move their bodies, make time for conversation, and put down their devices.
TIP 4: Reward an hour of physical activity with an hour of tech time.
Allow your teen to have one hour of gaming for every hour of physical activity. Try to find a balance so your teen feels they have a say and feels there is a compromise.
TIP 5: Put devices away during mealtimes.
Use this time for conversation and connection.
TIP 6: Teach daily affirmations.
Teach your teen self-affirmations. Teach them to love themselves…it will help them to be more confident.
TIP 7: Assign chores.
Assign chores as a productive way to promote breaks from tech. It gets them up and moving a bit as well as gets them off the screens.
TIP 8: Enroll your child in a programming course.
Enroll your teen in a local community college program and let them learn how to code.
TIP 9: Remind youth they have value beyond their social media presence.
Remind your teen that their social media presence does not define them.
TIP 10: Turn off your phone.
Find a way to get back to basics without the distractions of a device. Be a role model for your teen.
As California mothers, we are bringing these toolkits to you through a cross-collaborative campaign. San Francisco Bay Area Moms is proud to be working with Ventura County Mom Collective and Inland Empire Mom Collective. We too, want to “ensure our state’s media and technology industries are a force for good in child development” (part of the California Partners Project Mission Statement). #TechTips4CaliMoms